Ellis, Jones, Labarthe and Wheeler receive American Heart Association’s top Gold Heart award

July 02, 2012 Categories: Heart News, Program News
DALLAS, July 2, 2012 – The American Heart Association presented its 2012 Gold Heart Award to Chicago physician Darwin Labarthe, M.D.; Minneapolis executive Gary Ellis, Esq.; Oxford (Miss.) physician Daniel Jones, M.D.; and former AHA CEO Cass Wheeler. The award is the highest honor the association gives in recognition of continued, distinguished service. 
The awards were presented at the association's 2012 Gold Heart Banquet in Dallas on June 26.
Labarthe, a professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, has been an association volunteer since the early 1970s and founded the U.S. Ten-Day Teaching Seminars on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, now in its 44th year. In 2007 he received the association’s Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award in recognition of more than four decades as one of the nation’s foremost mentors in cardiovascular science. 
Ellis, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Medtronic in Minneapolis, was the association’s chairman of the board in fiscal 2007-08 and has been an association volunteer for more than 25 years. He has chaired the association’s Corporate Operations Coordinating Committee, Audit Task Force and Fiscal Standards Task Force. He remains closely involved with association activities in Minnesota, including the Minneapolis Heart Ball.   
Jones, chancellor of the University of Mississippi, was the association’s president in fiscal 2007-08 and has been an association volunteer for more than 20 years. He has chaired the association’s International Committee and Strategic Planning Task Force, and is a longtime association spokesperson on high blood pressure.
Wheeler, an executive coach and consultant, was the association’s chief executive officer from 1997 until his retirement in 2008. Under his leadership, the association launched initiatives including Go Red For Women, Power To End Stroke and Get With The Guidelines, and collaborated with the Joint Commission of Healthcare Organizations to develop a Primary Stroke Center Certification Program. He was named to the NonProfit Times Power and Influence Top 50 List as well as the World Pharmaceutical Frontiers Pharma 40.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.
Additonal multimedia available in the right column.
Carrie Thacker – (214) 706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org